Waukegan teen pleads not guilty to stealing stun gun from Mundelein cops
A Waukegan teen accused of stealing a stun gun during a youth program at the Mundelein police station pleaded not guilty to theft charges in court Thursday.
Justice J. Morgan, 19, of the 100 block of Harding Avenue, faces up to 7 years in prison if found guilty of theft from a government agency, Lake County Judge Victoria Rossetti said.
Morgan is also charged with a misdemeanor count of possession of a firearm. The charge could land him in jail for up to one year, Rossetti said.
He is free from Lake County jail after posting the required 10 percent of his $5,000 bail.
Authorities said Morgan was applying to join Mundelein's Police Explorer youth program March 10 when he removed the weapon from an unlocked file cabinet.
Morgan attended a meeting about the program, but hadn't been declared a full member yet, authorities said. The weapon -- valued at $900 -- was taken during a gathering in the department's roll call room while the officers who advise the group were out of the room briefly.
The theft went undetected for about three weeks, authorities said, but was discovered after Morgan was arrested during a traffic stop in Waukegan.
Waukegan police found the weapon inside the car, and called Mundelein police after learning its origins, authorities said.
Waukegan police also found Morgan's car was equipped with police-style green-and-blue lights, authorities said. Other items connected to the Kenosha County sheriff's department were later found in Morgan's house, authorities said.
The stun gun was never fired, authorities said, but it had been turned on and off several times.
Morgan was given a trial date of Oct. 11. He is due back in court Aug. 23.